Many people from this generation might not be aware that there was an age old system where a patient used to develop a life-long relationship with his/her doctor who would take care of their general health needs in a trustable & caring manner. He was called as a “Family Doctor or A Family Physician” with whom you would share not only your health issues but also many a family or personal issues. He would be a mentor, guide & an elderly figure who would support us when needed & considered as an extended family member too. That was a beautiful relation being cherished from both sides. Above all these, when he knew few of the important & intricate details about the whole family, he could provide us a better treatment for our illness & would counsel the family members of their role in solving the problem, if required.
I am a firm believer of this system & have seen this to be missing in the present day medical or dental practice. We see that todays’ doctors are so busy in their practices that they hardly talk to their patients or spend any additional time during their consultations. The fast paced life has put the doctors into so much stress, that they are not able to do this due to lack of time.
However, I have been lucky to experience this approach personally from my family physician (A senior homeopath Professor – Dr Shreepad Hegde) whom I know since more than 25 years. He has been guiding me on my health (including my whole family), treating me when required, giving tips on prevention & also has become my family friend. He has seen me grow into whatever I am today. He has been an inspiration for me to be “A family dentist”. We have often sought guidance in our family / personal matters from him & he has sincerely responded to us in all those instances, making him a sought out person as a family adviser, personal mentor, guide etc.
We believe the same holds good in the case of a dentist too, where he would not just be any dentist providing professional advice, but have that human touch, treating us heartfully, be a friend, a well wisher & an extended family member. He should be there to guide you & help you to take care of your oral health. He should be the best person to educate you about oral hygiene, the necessary treatments you need & how to prevent the diseases of mouth. Many a times, he may be the first person who will be able to detect some of your general health issues & help you seek physician’s opinion or treatment too. So, I would like to bring back the age old tradition of family physician into dentistry & become “Your Family Dentist”. I would be happy to see a lifelong relationship getting established with the patients making them extended family members. The advantage I see with this approach is what I will state in my next article.